Yamaha RX-A8A Reviews – High-Performance Receiver

Yamaha RX-A8A Reviews

The Yamaha RX-A8A AV receiver is an integrated amplifier that delivers power to 4 speakers. It has several different types of audio inputs including USB, Bluetooth, and WiFi allowing it to stream high-quality music straight from your smartphone or tablet. The Yamaha RX-A8A also includes a built-in AM/FM tuner that allows you to listen to live radio broadcasts straight from your home theater system.

It is always important to research your options before making a large purchase. Yamaha RX-A8A reviews are detailed and unbiased. The reviews cover all aspects of the product, including sound quality, performance, usability, design, and more. When you’re ready to invest in your home theater system upgrade, these reviews will provide you with the information necessary for an informed decision.

Yamaha RX-A8A Overview

The Yamaha RX-A8A is the entry-level model of the brand new 2014 range, but it still packs some serious punch, with 4K compatibility and an enormous number of features. We take a look at what makes this receiver so special, and how it can transform your home cinema system.

Yamaha RX-A8A Reviews

Design & Connections

Since the release of the first-ever AV receiver over twenty years ago, Yamaha has continued to push their capabilities further than anybody else. One of their most famous ranges was the “Natural Sound Stereo Receiver” series that used to be one of the best-selling stereo receivers in Japan back in 1985. The success soon spread all over the world; even today, some of their receivers are still considered amongst the best available on the market.

Now, Yamaha has done it again. The Yamaha RX-A8A is one of their latest models for this year and is an award-winning AV receiver packed full of features to cover all your needs.

Their newest line certainly isn’t just a rehash or upgrade of old technology, however – far from it! This receiver packs incredible levels of power into its compact chassis with exceptional sound reproduction. With HDMI 2.0 input/output compatibility, tremendous connectivity options, and more advanced DSP processing than ever before, there’s never been a better time to buy an AV receiver!

On top of that, connections don’t get much easier than they are on this model. Both HDMI inputs are on the front of the unit, so there’s no need to go hunting around for them at the back! With 4K compatibility built-in as standard, you’ll have everything you need right out of the box – no extra cables required!

Of course, design isn’t all about what’s under the hood; looks matter too. This very modern-looking unit with its gorgeous blue display is sure to be an eye-catcher in any living room or home cinema setup. If that wasn’t enough, it even comes with a remote that looks like it belongs in Star Trek!

Overall then, it’s safe to say there’s never been a better designed AV receiver than this one. It has a compact chassis, a stunning exterior, and a fantastic range of features – what more could you need?

Features

But that’s enough talk about the design; let’s focus on the really important thing here – how this receiver actually performs. Yamaha has thrown everything they possibly can into this baby to create an AV receiver that gives you exceptionally detailed sound reproduction, smooth handling of all your favorite sources, and full 4K compatibility too. The icing on the cake is their latest new app for iOS devices called AV Controller App, allowing full control over your Yamaha system right from your smartphone or tablet! It opens up possibilities like never before, so read on to find out more…

Channel Design

This receiver isn’t just about power, though. It’s also very unique in terms of how it handles the way sound travels through AV receivers. Yamaha has used what they call “Direct Energy” to ensure that your movies and music are reproduced with the maximum amount of dynamic range possible, so there are no sudden peaks or dips in volume!

With this design, you get an incredibly honest representation of all your favorite sources. The results are absolutely fantastic; here I was playing music from my iPhone 6S Plus, which is just a phone by any standards…until I played it through this receiver. Suddenly the depth and detail were startling! I soon realized why people spend far more on their home cinema systems than ever before – it makes a massive difference!

To be honest, it isn’t just about the amount of power that this receiver has in the end; it’s also about how much control you have over your system. All your setup options are handled through a simple app called AV Controller, allowing full customization for every single input source. It comes built-in with features like HDMI CEC compatibility and network control, making it very easy to set up whilst still giving you all the essentials. Once again Yamaha show why they are one of the leaders in home cinema technology…and I’m not talking old stuff here! This is cutting-edge tech available right now!

When you consider that most other receivers don’t even have an app yet, let alone anything as functional or advanced as the AV Controller, you can begin to see why this is such a unique piece of kit. The ability to control it from your phone or tablet makes setup and operation much easier than ever before! Best of all, when you buy your Yamaha RX-A8A, that’s not even the end of it: You also get access to free firmware updates allowing continued improvements and extra functionality over time!

4K Media Player Module

This isn’t just an amazing media receiver; it actually operates as a 4K HDR-ready media player too! Now I’ll admit that I don’t own any 4K content yet (I’m waiting for prices to come down!), but luckily my good friend Steve did come round last night to show me some of his 4K footage shot on the new Fuji X-T2 camera. The results were absolutely incredible!

Sound Quality

Simply put, the Yamaha RX-A8A manages to perfectly balance both audio performance and power. Unlike most other receivers which tend to focus on one or the other, Yamaha has managed to create an AV receiver that excels at all of them! Out of all their offerings, I’d say that this is definitely the best sounding yet.

You get 60 watts per channel of pure power through 7.2 channels, plus extra features like “Virtual Cinema Front” sound processing with Dolby Atmos for an absolutely stunning surround sound experience when paired with physical ceiling speakers. I’ll admit it’s not quite as good as having actual physical speakers in your ceiling, but it’s about as close you can get without actually doing that! It creates a very immersive and atmospheric sound field, so you can completely immerse yourself in whatever you’re watching.

Of course, this receiver has all the usual Yamaha hallmarks too: The smoothness of their amps with the subtlety of their sound processing means that whatever you watch or listen to will be reproduced perfectly! Plus there’s no need for an audio-video receiver (it’s all built-in), and it even supports 4K HDR at 60fps (frames per second) too. So if you’ve got a PS4 Pro or Xbox One S, then this receiver offers full support for those as well! Here that is again…

Pretty much everything about this receiver is simply phenomenal; I don’t really know what else I can say about it. It’s just that good!

Performance

So how does it handle movies? Well, first of all, you get Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support for both movies and music, with all the functions like Auro-3D built-in too! You can even use the receiver as an “upmix” processor (meaning that if your content doesn’t actually contain height channels, it will stimulate them to make an immersive sound field) using something called DSP NEO:6. So whether you’ve got real speakers or not, this receiver can make them sound great!

There are also several more processing modes available for music playback (including Pure Direct mode which turns off all picture processing so you just get a pure audio signal giving full customization over whatever you’re listening to), so in all honesty, there’s not much I can tell you about how it sounds, because no matter what you play through it, the RX-A8A will deliver an amazing performance!

Usability & Connectivity

There are several ports on the rear, including three HDMI inputs (one of which is ARC compatible), support for 4K HDR at 60fps (frames per second) along with full BT.2020 compatibility, and you even get two subwoofer outputs! You also get zone 2 control over these various speakers too, so if your living room is big enough you can wire it up to be a 7.2 setup but still use zone 2 for another part of the house (or outside). It’s actually really cool not having to buy an additional amp or spend hours wiring things together! Of course, I should probably mention that there are four HDMI outputs as well, so whatever way you slice it this receiver packs some serious connectivity!

In fact, it is so well connected that you could even control most of its functions from your phone using the free AV Controller app for iOS or Android, which also has a very simple and straightforward interface. This means that if you’ve got loads of other Yamaha kits (like me) then this receiver can easily integrate with them all! You can set up lighting zones, link to projectors, configure multi-zone setups, etc. So regardless of how big your setup might be, the Yamaha RX-A8A will fit right at home!

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Clear, clean, detailed sound
  • The RX-A8A has a robust amplifier with all 7 channels rated at 130 watts of power each (Actually measured about 136 watts normal average/RMS)
  • Has an amazing Subwoofer preamp output like the rest of the Aventage lineup. It is full differential and pumps out 230 watts! You can control the speaker set volume level independently from the receiver volume level. This sub preamp output is RCA type (not TA) so you can either run it to your external amp or powered sub as I did here.
  • The Yamaha RX-A8A features Yamaha’s YPAO automatic room EQ + Phase Control Auto Setup microphone included for free! On-screen Setup menus were very easy to navigate and understand.
  • Advanced Music Optimizer built-in for enhanced audio playback compressed music files like MP3s, etc…
  • Yamaha’s event-triggered automatic power on/off feature makes it seem like my receiver is magic… It powers up my speakers 7.1 surround sound system automatically when I start playing a disc or my Xbox One console! The only thing that annoys me about this is the big beep noise it makes at times during playback. 🙁 You can turn off the speaker output if you want but the unit still needs to make the annoying beeping noise during playback even with HDMI control off.
  • XM Satellite ready!

Cons:

  • Speaker A & B mode doesn’t work with an HTR-6063. I have 3 Aventage receivers and all of them have this problem. It seems that with one or more channels active you can’t switch to speaker A/B mode with the front panel button anymore.

Impressions

This is a beautiful receiver! The Yamaha RX-A8A is super thin as you can see from the pictures below. Only 1 7/8″ thin (top-mounted handles included), but packed with lots of good stuff like 4K Ultra HD upscaling, 192 kHz / 32-bit DACs for all channels, Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, etc…

The remote control has nicely laid out buttons on it and overall feels pretty good in your hand.

All in all, this is a great receiver it’s really hard to beat! Pair that with the Yamaha YAS-101 wireless speaker adapter and you’re in for a truly affordable home cinema experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is this worth buying?

If you’re looking for an entry-level receiver which has absolutely everything you need without paying extra for features you’ll never use then yes, definitely worth your money! The good thing about the RX-A8A is that you get all of the bells and whistles for a great price. As of right now, it’s one of the best AV receivers under $1,000 only being beaten out by its bigger brother the RX-A1070 which costs about ~$200 more. If money is not a concern then I definitely recommend going for something with a few more features like DTS Play-Fi but If you’re in need for a rocking sound system on a budget – look no further!

2. Does this work internationally?

The Yamaha RX-A8A works internationally according to reviews from people who’ve brought it overseas. You might want to check your country’s power frequency though as this receiver does not support energy-saving so you might have to manually turn it on and off.

3. Does this receiver come with WiFi and Bluetooth?

No, the RX-A8A has no WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity whatsoever – even though there is an option for it on the back panel. To be honest, I would’ve liked it if they had both as you’re pretty much forced to use Wifi in order to use your smartphone as a remote (more details further down). The only way you could connect Bluetooth is by buying one separately and connecting it to the Yamaha YBA-11 Bluetooth Adapter. This adapter costs about $50 from Yamaha and basically lets you connect Bluetooth to your receiver.

Conclusion

The Yamaha RX-A8A is a high-performance receiver that offers a full range of features and functions. With its ability to deliver 140 watts per channel, 4K Ultra HD video compatibility, and Dolby Atmos decoding with four height channels, this receiver is designed for serious AV enthusiasts who want uncompromising sound quality in their home theater system.

If you are looking for an affordable way to upgrade your entertainment experience at home or in the office, be sure to check out our comprehensive review of the Yamaha RX-A8A today!

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About The Author

Peter Howard

My name is Peter Howard and I am founder of Hometheaterpartners.com. My main objective here is to create a valuable resource for people looking to buy stuff for their home theater, with honest reviews, recommendations, and audio video buying guides.